The Woodspeen Cookery School, Nr Newbury.

I can't believe it was as long ago as November when my best blogging buddy Emily and I found ourselves pulling up outside The Woodspeen on a cold, foggy morning for a full day cooking with their head chef - Michelin starred John Campbell. 

Bloggers working for Host for Hope at The Woodspeen
inside the woodspeen cookery school
We were there with two other equally fab bloggers - Connie Consumes & Daisy from Pretty Green Tea - for Host for Hope - a charity campaign being run by Pancreatic Cancer UK.  During the month of November, people were encouraged to raise money through holding a foodie event - be it a coffee and cake morning or in our case, a full blown dinner party.  As a charity close to John's heart, he very kindly welcomed us to his cookery school to attend the Chef in a Cupboard course - a full day during which we prepped and part cooked a 5 course dinner party which we would host the following evening for 6 people! You can read about my dinner party here. 

Chef in the cupboard menu

It'd take me forever to talk you through everything we did that day with John and his fantastic team. In a nutshell, we baked three types of bread, made puff pastry from scratch, created a beautiful pumpkin soup, made chicken stock, prepared garnishes, chocolate truffles and wrote timing plans. PHEW! 

By the time we finished, everything was packed up and ready to go so that we could head home and be ready to produce some of the best food of our lives the next day.  I'm going to leave my pictures to tell the rest of the story but I will say this; of all the cookery schools I've tried (and it's quite a few), this one tops them all. If you're looking for a cookery school with that extra sparkle and have the money, I urge you to try one at The Woodspeen if nothing else, for the lunch alone! 

Prepping at The Woodspeen Cookery School
home made treacle sourdough
chicken puff pastry
Gingey Bites and Chef John Campbell Gingey Bites and Chef John Campbell

I've eaten at several Michelin starred restaurants and the style of the place is such an integral part to the whole experience. I can think of a couple which were suspect - naming no names - but The  Woodspeen is definitely one the best looking. Under chef John Campbell, they earned their star within a year of opening and I'm sure that the styling played a part as well as the excellent food and service. I really loved how the unassuming frontage and entrance open up into a gloriously light, almost Scandinavian feeling restaurant, complete with an open pass into the kitchen. I can't wait to come back and eat here properly.

View from the open kitchen at The Woodspeen
Inside the woodspeen kitchen
Chef John Campbell

The day was magical and I'll cherish my experience for years to come.  Learning how to bake bread and cooking alongside this super talented Michelin started chef was a highlight of my blogging career!  The fact that I also managed to raise some money for Pancreatic Cancer UK was just the icing on the cake.

*I attended the Chef in the Cupboard course at The Woodspeen Cookery School - which is priced at £265 per person. I did not pay for this, I attended free of charge but my opinions are all my own*


  1. Wow looks like an amazing day! I'm super impressed that you made your own puff pastry, that's something I've never tried myself (too lazy!). Going to go and read about your dinner party now!

  2. I love attending cookery classes and it looks like this one was really good to attend.

  3. Sounds like you all had a fab time :) and the food looks so delicious!! :D


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